This week, officials from some two dozen countries met to discuss "global warming."
The AP reports (via WaPo) that "The meeting in the Arctic town of Ilulissat came at the end of a three-day trip by the officials through Greenland's spectacular but shrinking expanses of ice and snow. The vast island is one of the prime spots for assessing whether global warming is worsening."
The article continues to imply that everyone agrees with the AP's declaration that global warming does in fact exist, including the anti-Kyoto treaty United States: "The officials came from both sides of global warming controversy's fault lines - from countries that have signed the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to counter global warming by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, and those that reject it, including the United States."
The Rest: "The conference took no decisions on how to fight global warming.
The United States, which accounts for one-quarter of the world's greenhouse gases, has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, saying it would harm their economies by raising energy prices, and cost five million jobs in the U.S. alone.
Last month President Bush presented a plan that critics say is a ploy to undo the Kyoto pact.
The initiative is aimed at inventing and selling technologies ranging from "clean coal" and wind power to next-generation nuclear fission as a means of reducing pollution and addressing climate concerns."
Meanwhile in Alaska, the AP also reports (via yahoo) on the trip of the Senator's who also know Global Warming exists. They say "McCain said anecdotes from Alaskans and residents of the Yukon Territory confirm scientific evidence of global warming." The article gave just one brief mention of a Senator who thinks that Global Warming is caused by other means: "Opponents of the legislation, including Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, attribute warming to cyclical geophysical forces."
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Anyone doubting the effects of human activity on global climate change should talk to the people it affects in Alaska and the Yukon, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Wednesday.
Fresh from a trip to Barrow, America's northernmost city, McCain said anecdotes from Alaskans and residents of the Yukon Territory confirm scientific evidence of global warming.
"We are convinced that the overwhelming scientific evidence indicated that climate change is taking place and human activities play a very large role," McCain said.
McCain, accompanied by Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., spoke to villagers in Canada whose spruce trees are being attacked by the northward spread of spruce beetles. On Alaska's northern coast, they met Native Alaskans dealing with melting permafrost and coastal erosion.
"I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the science," Clinton said. "There are still some holdouts, but they are fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming, but what is deeply concerning is that climate change is accelerating."
Graham, who declared himself "on the fence" about climate change legislation, said an academic debate about global warming is different in the North.
"If you can go to the Native people and listen to their stories and walk away with any doubt that something's going on, I just think you're not listening," he said.
McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., are sponsoring legislation that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from utilities and industry. The Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would cap U.S. emission levels at levels recorded in 2000.
Opponents of the legislation, including Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, attribute warming to cyclical geophysical forces.
McCain said the trip has been valuable for the accumulation of evidence that can be used to push the bill. Ultimately, he said, Americans will demand laws to decrease emissions, just as they demanded campaign financing reform.
"It's coming up from the bottom," he said. "It's the special interests vs. the people's interests and I still have enough confidence in our system of government that the people's interest will ultimately prevail."
Collins said the senators were approached by Alaska guides who thanked them for taking time to look at how climate change affects Alaska. They echoed what indigenous people in Canada told the senators.
"I don't think anyone who has talked to these individuals as well as the scientists would have any doubt that this is a real and growing problem," she said.
McCain said his bill continues to face opposition from industry, but that may change from businesses that operate overseas.
"They have to do business in Europe, and thereby comply with the requirements for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," he said. "You will see more and more international corporations going in that direction because they have to."
Graham couched the argument for climate change, as well as another major Alaska issue, petroleum drilling of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as a national security measure. Continued dependence on foreign fossil fuels makes America vulnerable, he said.
"The sooner we get started with alternative energy sources and recognize that fossil fuels makes us less secure as a nation, and more dangerous as a planet, the better off we'll be," Graham said.
Opponents who ignore evidence of humans contributing to climate change, Clinton said, are participating in a trend of turning Washington, D.C. into what she calls an "evidence-free zone."
"You just keep saying something no matter how untrue and unfactual it might be, over and over and over again, and try to drive the politics to meet your ideological or commercial agenda," she said. "That is a grave disservice to our country."
The senators planned to travel to Seward later Wednesday.